ESK Yarnathon 2016
Eat.sleep.knit has outdone themselves this year with a SPACE theme! I went from being a Fleecy Fox to a StarSheep (which thankfully matches my Ravelry handle of "firesheep67!"). Now, instead of running a race measured in kilometers and yards, you reach planets. I'm already up to the Sun (welcome packet level) from participating in the weekly trivia questions (ten per quarter, 50 yards credit per), the first KAL (Spiral Cowl - January) and one purchase.
Last year, I reached the Gold level in the Boosterclub (which, as I mentioned last time, functions like badges one would earn in the Girl Scouts). Last year's Gold level prize options included a year of free shipping, which is what I chose. So, for all of 2016, I have free shipping. Could prove to be good or bad, time will tell! Without free shipping, I've been tempted to fill my cart to get free shipping (which means, buying $100 at a time)... with free shipping, I'm thinking more along the lines of project oriented purchases, so my first purchase of the year was needles that I didn't have and two skeins of Madeline Tosh Dandelion in Farmhouse White for DrawingStraws. I don't intend to abuse the free shipping (just read on Ravelry that some people would buy skeins of yarn, in the store, one at a time to get one lotto ticket per purchase - that's outrageous and sad!).
I also am still a member of the 10k club (once you're in, you're a member for life). This year, 10k club members get two lotto tickets per order, which is supremely awesome!
The yarnathon offers a little of everything to all who participate - not only do you have the camaraderie of your team, but also the fun of KALs, and sense of accomplishment from earning the badges which can help you stay out of a project rut and encourage you to try new things or approach your knitting from another perspective. I have to admit, I love a good prize and the badge system has really served to keep me engaged and motivated! This year, one of the Gold level prize options will be the sling style tote bag (image on the middle lower right) which I earned last year for Silver. This bag is just brilliant (hope to copy the shape and sew my own some day!) It will be offered in a different color, which remains to be revealed.
There's another aspect to the Yarnathon, which is earning stars for your team - this can be done through a combination of activities, from KAL participation, to earning badges in the Boosterclub to making purchases. So, once again, ESK offers a way to let you play along without always having to buy more, which is quite generous of them! At the end of the year, members of the team with the most stars will all receive a store credit.
Even if you have an awesome LYS, let ESK fill in the gaps! No one yarn store can be everything for everybody, which is why ESK will always be one of my long-distance LYSs!